NAMI Wisconsin's 2017-2018 Legislative Priorities

You spoke and we listened!

A few months ago you took action and weighed in on what matters most in the mental health system. Your survey responses helped sharpen our advocacy focus and shape our key legislative priorities for the upcoming session.

At the forefront of our advocacy is the recognition that stigma and discrimination directly affect people with mental illness and their families. NAMI Wisconsin asserts a conscious effort to reduce stigma and discrimination in all areas of policy including healthcare, employment, housing and education. So.. without further ado, here are NAMI Wisconsin’s 2017 Legislative Priorities.

1. Provide access to affordable mental health treatment services

  • Ensure access to affordable health insurance that covers mental health services at the same rate as other physical illnesses.
  • Deliver community-based services that are easily accessible by local transit.
  • Accept federal funds for Medicaid in order to cover more people with mental health conditions currently not receiving services.
  • Increase Medicaid reimbursement rates so providers can afford to deliver services to those who need it.

2. Prevent people from entering and returning to jail and prison

  • Expand community mental health services so law enforcement are not the first point of contact to access treatment.
  • Support Crisis Invention Team (CIT), Crisis Intervention Partner (CIP), and de-escalation programs for first respond- ers to ensure effective response to mental health crises.
  • Invest in Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) programs, especially for low risk offenders.

3. Support youth mental health initiatives

  • Promote early identification and intervention for children and youth with mental health conditions.
  • Expand First Episode Psychosis (FEP) programs to reach more youth statewide.
  • Invest in school-based mental health initiatives that allow children and youth to access treatment, increase awareness and expand mental health education within the school community

4. Promote avenues to recovery in the community through employment, peer services

  • Increase the investment in Individualized Placement and Support (IPS), an evidence-based model of supported employment, by providing funding for additional state trainers.
  • Maintain the investment in the peer specialist workforce.
  • Ensure access to community-based services such as the Community Support Program (CSP) and Comprehensive Community Services (CCS).

There will be many opportunities for you to get involved in these important mental health issues. For more information, please contact Advocacy Coordinator, Crystal, at